CENTER FOR PSYCHOTHERAPY
MONTHLY TIDBIT: MAY, 2015
From the Desk OF:
Beth Kincaid, MEd, LPC, NCC (Office Manager/Psychotherapist):
The idea of making personal changes excites many of us. We begin with burning enthusiasm and declare that “things will be different this time“. This time you really will lose twenty pounds, meet the love of your life and resolve the issues between you and your mother. However, too often we give up and are quickly back to our old patterns.
Goal-setting is the process by which you can turn those dreams into reality. However, many people lose the battle before it has begun by choosing their goals poorly. In his book The One-Minute Manager, Ken,Blanchard explains the SMART way to establish goals that are:
- Specific – Focus is vital to success. Instead of saying “I will get fit this year”, say “I will lose weight”.
- Measurable – ‘Losing weight’ is vague and difficult to measure. “I will lose 2O pounds in six months” is specific and easily measurable.
- Attainable– Make sure your goal is realistic. Losing 20 pounds in six months is easily possible, 80 pounds in six months is not.
- Relevant- The goal must be important to you not others. Focus on the improved appearance or health that your weight loss will bring.
- Trackable – “Getting in shape” is hard to track, but pounds lost per month can be counted and charted.
Once you’ve chosen a specific, meaningful goal, you need to set aside time to create the following building blocks of your success:
- Choose an image that represents what you want to be. Your role model can be a celebrity, or a person you know with the qualities you admire.
- State your goal. Writing a short statement of what you want to achieve will help you focus your efforts.
- List your reasons. Stating why the goal is important to you will be helpful, especially when you are tempted to slip or quit.
- Gather information. If you want to buy a car, find out about reliability, availability and financing options.
- Create specific guideposts. If your goal is a promotion, specify what extra projects or work you will do, who you need to talk with, when you’ll speak to them, and how you will present yourself.
- Assess and change if necessary. Flexibility is the key to reach your goals. You may need to adjust your strategy, timetable, or even the goal itself in order to be successful.
Some people find it very hard to set goals. It can be difficult to try to change on your own because you’re too close to see the real problem. Therapy can make changing easier by helping you to:
- Become aware of a problem. You may not realize that the underlying cause of your unsatisfactory relationships is low self-esteem.
- Identify the problem’s source. Why is your self-esteem so low?
- Understand the dynamics. You can’t make better relationship choices until you raise your self-esteem.
- Find alternatives. Once you know how you sabotage yourself, you can find more constructive ways to relate to others.
- Rehearse new behavior. Therapy is a safe place to practice new behavior until it becomes natural for you.
SEE AND SUCCEED:
Your mind can be a powerful ally in making changes. Creative visualization is a proven technique for harnessing your subconscious to help you reach your goals.
In creative visualization, you imagine and rehearse an event in your mind (somewhat like a deliberate daydream). However, visualization is much more concrete and detailed, with images being carefully created using a step-by-step approach.
To use creative visualization:
- Relax with deep breathing.
- Recall a happy time in your life.
- Imagine what you want to achieve, such as a terrific presentation to your boss. Begin by visualizing the moment you walk in the room, and make the vision as real and detailed as possible, ending with your boss’ praise.
The keys to successful visualization are to be very specific and to practice often. In time, it will work!
All changes – even positive ones- present a challenge to our coping skills. These guidelines can help you manage the changes you make:
- Know Yourself – Make changes that reflect your feelings and values. Family, friends or employers can give you ideas, but for changes to be permanent, they must be something that you want.
- Examine The Past- Review the last few personal goals you have set. Identify what helped you meet them; also note what didn’t work. This will give you a good idea of which tactics work for you and which don’t.
- Think Positively – Focus on the rewards your change will bring you, such as new friendships or better health. Anticipate small setbacks, and view them as a normal part of your progress, rather than failure.
- Stay Active- Fill time left by abandoning old habits and replacing them with new, interesting pursuits. Take the class you’ve always wanted to, start the project you’ve been putting off, or join a new social group.
- Share Feelings– Communicate with those close to you. Often, changes are accompanied by conflicting emotions. By sharing them, you make yourself feel better and help those around you to understand what you’re going through.
Latest News: We are pleased to congratulate the original founders of The Center For Psychotherapy: Barbara Metz, PhD and Peter Wohlwend, M.Div., on their recent and well-deserved retirement July 1, 2014! Location: We are located in a historic home at 912 North Elm Street in the Fisher Park section of Greensboro, North Carolina. (Near the intersection of N. Elm and Bessemer Ave.) The Center has a relaxed and inviting atmosphere designed to make our clients feel safe and at ease. We have ample parking and are on the Greensboro City bus line. Contact information: Mailing address: 912 North Elm Street, Greensboro, NC 27401 Phone: (336) 274-4669 Fax: (336)- 274-4749 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org